Waiving patent rights on COVID-19 vaccines and drugs is still crucial to ensure access globally, but the waiver on the table at the June World Trade Organization meeting doesn’t do the job.
The Coalition planned to tax company income from patents at 17% instead of 30%. While it would have lifted the number of patents, there’s little to suggest it would have lifted productivity.
Boosters and vaccinating children mean we’re relying on two pharmaceutical companies to supply Australia’s COVID vaccines. That needs to change.
Drug repurposing can redeem failed treatments and squeeze out new uses from others. But many pharmaceutical companies are hesitant to retool existing drugs without a high return on investment.
The Russian government has essentially legalised intellectual piracy as a response to sanctions.
Just as access to vaccines was vastly more difficult for low-income countries, the same is now true for the virus’ treatments: at potentially great cost to the world.
CORBEVAX is anticipated to significantly expand vaccine access to people in low- and middle-income countries.
Moderna claims its scientists alone invented the mRNA sequence used to produce its COVID-19 vaccine. The US government, which helped fund the drug, disagrees.
New Zealanders won’t see the full text of the UK free trade agreement until it is signed, meaning it will proceed without open public debate – despite locking in constraints on future governments.
The Federal Court of Australia has made a world-first ruling in favour of granting a patent to an artificial intelligence. But what comes next?
The decision is supported by the government’s policy environment in recent years. This has aimed to increase innovation, and views technology as a way to achieve this.
Stronger agricultural R&D systems will enable agriculture to power Africa’s transformation.
Boosting the number of female inventors isn’t just a matter of fairness. Inventions by men are more likely to ignore women’s needs.
Lowering the tax rates on profits from patents registered in Australia is unlikely to increase local research and development. But it will be a gift for multinationals.
Waiver talks might convince companies to focus on technology transfer and training, and let go of the plan to maximise patent-based revenues.
Much remains to be resolved before the waiver is translated into increased vaccine supply.
The process will take months, if it’s even approved. But just the threat of waiving intellectual property rights could spur faster action.
The US has backed a proposal to waive intellectual property relating to COVID measures – but global efforts need to go beyond vaccine patents.
The change in the US position signals how clearly the success of every country in fighting the pandemic depends on vaccinating the whole world.
It’s not clear whether the TRIPS agreement is what’s getting in the way of vaccine supply, and waiving intellectual property rights may stifle future innovation.